Theophilus A. Biney (Theo), a Ghanaian, had a lot to say about how he thought Ghana was different from the United States when it comes to media.

Radio

According to Theo, radio back in Ghana is more censored. Compared to the radio stations here in America that advertise entertainment such as clubs, Ghana radio stations focus more so on the education of children. Their radio stations provided the children with educational sessions. Their rappers and artist focus their lyrics on how children should be submissive to their parents and how their “books” should come first. Ghana has what is called the Hip-Hop Life or the High Life which depicts their culture. You will only find nine radio stations in every region in Ghana. They are all competitive in the aspects of what each station has to offer their listeners. Theo informed me that most radio stations come together to form a television station.

Television

Stations such as Skyy Power and Radio Maxx can be seen on the televisions in Ghana. These stations show mainly international media. Shows such as MTV Cribs and the Video Music Awards broadcast on these stations. In his country if one were to cut on the television, they would find mostly European stations being aired. In general Ghana focuses less on entertainment and more on informative pieces of information. Theo provided me with a daily schedule of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC):

6:00am-8:00am—Breakfast show (news)

8:00am-10:00am—Gospel (encouraging what behavior is expected of the nation)

10:00am-12:00pm—Animal Kingdom (Discovery Channel)

12:00pm-3:30pm—News

3:30pm-6:00pm—Children’s Education (one hour of cartoons)

6:00pm-7:00pm—Soap Operas/Television Sitcoms

7:00pm-8:00pm—News

8:00pm-10:00pm—African Movies

10:00pm—News

There are no “info-mercials” because in Ghana, they deal more so with cash not credit cards. Dealing with credit cards would mean that a person is purchasing outside of the country. Ultimately, television is for adults.

Magazines

To start off Theo made it a point to let me know that there is no Ghanaian pornography. Any pornography that is in Ghana is from America. The magazines that were mentioned were Showbiz, 4Syte, and Metro. Showbiz is their celebrity magazine. Metro focuses on transportation and advertises vehicles that are for sale.

Music

“Hip-Hop is for Americans!”

Music is mainly in their local languages which are either Fante or Twi. People who are educated will rap or sing in British English. In Ghanaian music they do not use profanity as much as Americans do. They like to “practice what they preach”. In battles they don’t rap about shooting and stealing. They rap about their goals, where they want to see themselves in the future. In their music videos, Theo says that they are trying to be more like Americans. They have “bling” and girls “shaking their booties.” Their videos tell the story of the songs.

Books

Textbooks and library books are printed mainly in British English. They use the tales such as Anansi the Spider in a lot of their stories to teach lessons. In elementary education the books that are used are written and printed in Ghana. When students reach high school the books that are used are written and printed by all of West Africa.

Movies

As far as movies shown on television, Ghanaian movies can be shown before 10:00pm but American movies are considered “Late Night” and are shown after 10:00pm due to sexual scenes and their ratings. In theaters only one movie is released at a time, unlike America where we have sometimes can have up to twenty movies showing in one theater. In Ghana the movie theaters don’t really prosper because they have DVDs with eighteen movies on them. Theo says that the DVDs cost twice as much as the theater but people would rather spend money on the DVDs because they get a larger quantity.

Websites

Websites based on Ghana are focused on the economy and politics. Examples for these websites include: Ghanaweb.com and BigX.gh.com. Majority of their websites serve as informational systems for tourists.

Any Surprises?

With disgust Theo responds to my question, “What surprised you about Media here in the United States?” He told me that media her makes kids say any kind of filthy language to their parents. He goes on to say that certain languages should not be encouraged and media using this language should be cancelled. He expressed his opinion that American media shows anything and everything. He also stated that people here focus on people’s personal lives too much, not what will benefit society. He used Tiger Wood’s story as support for that statement.

Assumptions of Americans

He thought that America was perfect because we depict places such as Las Vegas and Hollywood in our media. We don’t show all of the shootings and killings that occur daily. He goes on to say that a lot of Americans are ignorant in the fact that he thought that we knew about Africa just as he knew about America. When he came here he learned that everyone was not rich or “well-off” and he said that he could live more comfortably in Africa because the cost of living is not as high there as it is in America.

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